COVID-19: All Black players know it is coming
REACTION: It is not what any employee ever wants to hear, but New Zealand’s top players know it is coming.
It is pay-cuts.
All Black coach Ian Foster set the tone at the weekend when he confirmed he and his staff had agreed to take pay cuts.
All Black utility back Beauden Barrett has become the first senior player to admit they will follow suit.
Speaking to Martin Devlin on New Zealand Media and Entertainment‘s NewstalkZB and RadioSport shows, Barrett admitted the players are “going through those talks at the moment.”
“As an employee of New Zealand Rugby, we’re all facing some tough times and we’re all in this together,” he said.
“We’ve seen some of our colleagues and friends have had to take a few cuts already.
“As players, we’re working through that with Rob Nichol and the Players’ Association.
“That will come out in due course, but yes we will be [taking cuts] at some stage.”
Barrett has not played a single game for his new franchise, the Blues.
He has been on a sabbatical before Super Rugby was suspended as a result of COVID-19.
His last competitive game was for the All Blacks in the World Cup third-place play-off against Wales last October.
The 28-year-old had only been training with the Blues for a week before all rugby was suspended.
“My feet were really itching by then, but then this happened so I’ve sort of just had to unwind again and sit back,” he told the NZME stations.
“You can’t control what’s going on at the moment, but you can certainly control the way you approach it from a mental point of view and look at finding productive ways to get through your days.
“The responsibility is ours to stay fit, stay ready, and I guess stay motivated and enthused about it.
“It’s obviously a challenging time but we’re used to that as players and we’re trying to do everything we can. The unions and the franchises are working hard on coming up with all kinds of scenarios.
“When we get the green light we’re ready to go, and whoever has maximised this opportunity will be in a better position.”
Sources: NZME, NewstalkZB & RadioSport